Vetiver: Tight Knit

 

A decade ago, who could’ve imagined that Sub Pop would shift its focus from longhaired, half-mad grunge acts to bearded, placid folk-rockers? Andy Cabic’s band Vetiver doesn’t yet have the cachet of Sub Pop favorites Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, or even Blitzen Trapper, but based on Vetiver’s Sub Pop debut, Tight Knit, Cabic may be the singer-songwriter who best represents this renewed emphasis on cooing harmonies, lilting melodies, and neatly woven guitars. Earlier Vetiver records cultivated an air of backwoods mysticism, heavy on acoustic picking and tribal percussion, but Tight Knit is a leap ahead, stepping out of the mists and shadows and into a warm, bright clearing. From the first song, “Rolling Sea”—which starts with just a guitar and Cabic’s whispery rasp, then adds instruments until it reaches its lapping, tide-like coda—Tight Knit keeps opening up, inviting more people into the circle. Cabic expands the band’s sound on the record, bringing in a little Aztec Camera-esque jangle on the poppy “More Of This” and some muted horn-propped funk on “Another Reason To Go.” Then Tight Knit ends with “At Forest Edge,” which sounds like an amalgam of American Analog Set and The Jefferson Airplane, and in every way—title included—delineates the headspace in which Vetiver now dwells.

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